Welcome to beauty portion of my blog! A wonderful, magical place where fine lines, wrinkles and breakouts still exist and your expectations of picture-perfect skin and anti-aging illusions are shattered. Hooray! So glad you could join me in reality. But on the real, let’s keep this totally transparent. Any products I list on here are because I use them every day. If I don’t, I’ll tell you – deal?
Now, I don’t want to burst your beauty bubbles, but I for sure have a bitter-sweet relationship with makeup. From an artistic perspective, I love experimenting with new products and looks. But I have to be honest when I say… it doesn’t really feel that great on my face all day. My personal thoughts are this: if you are glowing, centered and balanced, you’ll shine brighter than with any product I could ever recommend to you! Call it cliché. But, as a lover of makeup artistry, it’s important to remember who you are at the source. Your spirit will always speak louder than an external contour or highlight ever could. Regardless of how flawless your product application.
It’s a bit of a contradiction. We say we wear makeup because we want to; because it boosts our confidence; because we’re artists; because it’s fun and because it’s empowering! But, that doesn’t stop me from the days of feeling like I have to wear it when I don’t really want to; to work, running errands, social gatherings, nights out.
Sometimes, just no.
My skin needs to breathe, ok? It needs to feel the light touch of a gentle, warm breeze on a sun-kissed, dewy morning! It needs to bask in the airs of freedom! But really. Any girl that has ever felt less than 100% understands makeup application dread. Just as any girl that was ever told, ‘You look tired’ or asked, ‘Are you feeling okay today?’ when they finally muster the courage to rock their makeup-free skin.
The whole thing is – if you don’t want to wear it, just friggen don’t! Speak with your actions; your conviction; your confidence. Your skin will thank you, and so will your subconscious (when you actually let it win this battle!) In a highly-conditioned society, the one thing I’ll ask you is this: what feels right to you?
In an effort to help my skin recover (and my dignity), I’ll be going makeup-free for 1 week. From Nov. 26th – Dec 3rd, I’ll be focusing solely on skincare while my bare face goes nakie. If you’d like join me, you can use the hashtag #bareskinbeaut on Instagram to tag your makeup-free experience! I’ll post a follow-up shortly after; to reflect on skin benefits, health effects, etc.
On that note, let’s do a 180 to talk about what’s in my makeup bag as the source of my skin’s destruction (haha just kidding!). Below are a list of beauty products I’ve enjoyed using consistently over the past year. These versatile makeup essentials have been used to create countless looks. From wedding glam, night-out elegance, office chic to everyday wear.
ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS BROW WIZ PENCIL
Shade: Blonde or Taupe
For all you furry-browed goddesses with Adriana Lima-arched perfection, congratulations! You don’t need this. You have the genes. Now, just let me have my brow pencil. This is for all the baby-browed vixens whose hairs just wanna be heard!
Really though, this is the best brow pencil for anyone who wants to define their brows in a more natural way. Whether you want to fill in your defined bushy brows or your fair little feathers need a natural boost. This is one product I have on-hand, to keep my brow-game strong.
If you’re not big on angled brushes (the washing, the clumping, the accidental over-drawing) say no more! This tool will do the trick, one little brow wisp at a time!
TARTE SHAPE TAPE CONTOUR CONCEALER
Shade: Fair Beige
Best. Concealer. Ever.
I am so impressed with this product (and virtually all Tarte Cosmetics products within the last year). This concealer is the best for stubborn under-eye circles and contour enhancing. It’s also great to highlight under your brow line and to erase any makeup mishaps! It’s buildable, doesn’t cake, and offers a full-coverage element that even Cover FX can’t compete with.
AMAZONIAN CLAY FULL COVERAGE FOUNDATION SPF 15
Shade: Light Medium Beige
This foundation is gold if you can get your shade right. Once you do, it provides coverage like no other. I’ve found this to be comparable to Laura Mercier’s full coverage foundation and about $10 cheaper!
ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS AMREZY HIGHLIGHTER
This limited-edition (since discontinued) highlighter is in need of a comeback! This is a glow that looks good on everyone and turns up the heat on any beauty look. Whether you want a wedding glam finish or a natural dewy touch. A little goes a long way with this gorgeous highlight. It doesn’t cake upon application and photographs extremely well!
TARTE SMOOTH OPERATOR AMAZONIAN CLAY FINISHING POWDER
The softest setting powder on the market. This is also comparable to Laura Mercier’s translucent finishing powder – but it lasts longer, applies softer, and blends even more seamlessly.
ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS CONTOUR KIT
Shade: Light To Medium
If you’re looking to add a little bit of edge to your contour – this palette does wonders! The best part? The shades are sold separately! Once you run out, you can insert the refill into the empty placeholder, which attaches to your palette magnetically! It’s a bit of a treasure hunt to find the missing shade, but once you do, it’s so worth it! The shades are super pigmented. Make sure you have a good brush cleaner to avoid that dirt-like appearance and caking.
URBAN DECAY NAKED HEAT EYESHADOW PALETTE
Love this palette for nights out! These rich, firey shades are great for creating that seductive smokey eye. To lengthen the wear-time of your eye makeup, I like to use Urban Decay’s Primer Potion prior to application.
URBAN DECAY COSMETICS ALL-NIGHTER LONG-LASTING MAKEUP SETTING SPRAY
Want to extend the life of any beauty look? This finishing spray is your new BFF. I’ve used this to keep makeup in place during pageant competitions, countless weddings, photoshoots and nights out. It really is beauty magic!
IT COSMETICS BRUSH BATH PURIFYING BRUSH CLEANER
If you’re thinking of investing in any of these products, this is one I would prioritize. No matter what makeup you use, your looks are only as good as your tools + brushes! If your makeup application is struggling more than usual, and you don’t know what’s changed, your brushes are probably in need of a good cleaning!
So, before you go out and replace your makeup and spend bank on a new skincare regimen, give this cleaner a go. It smells like sweetarts and removes stubborn makeup residue with just a couple of spritzes + swirls on a paper towel. No drawn-out dry time, no bacteria, no split bristles or mess – nothing but soft, clean brushes!
TARTE TARTLETTE 2 IN BLOOM CLAY EYESHADOW PALETTE
This Tarte palette offers an array of shades to create a soft, regal look. Typically, I combine colors from the Tarte Palette with Urban Decay’s Naked Heat Palette to create most beauty looks. I highly recommend this palette for everyday wear, or as an accent to soften harsh shades.
TARTE AMAZONIAN CLAY 12-HOUR BLUSH
Shade: Blissful (Bright Rose)
This is the perfect rosy-pink blush to compliment a daring contour and shimmering highlight. Whether you’re going for beachy vibes or a darker, romantic look. You can create both with this vibrant cheek color!
BENEFIT COSMETICS HOOLA MATTE BRONZING POWDER
If the ABH Contour Palette is a little too bold, I would recommend Hoola Bronzer. This matte bronzer creates a golden look that works for every season. Hoola is perfect for a light (yet buildable) contour option that darkens with each application.
IT COSMETICS SUPERHERO ELASTIC STRETCH VOLUMIZING MASCARA
I first tried this as a mini add-on and then purchased the full-size version. I was hesitant at first, because most mini versions deliver vastly different results from the standard sized product. Welp, not this one! It makes my lashes long and defined, without feeling heavy. What I love most about this? It doesn’t have that adhesive/glue-like texture of comparable mascaras like Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash.
STILA STAY ALL DAY WATERPROOF LIQUID EYELINER
Shade: Intense Black (Jet Black)
I’ve used this since my sophomore year of college, nuff said (or should I say, ‘Neff said!’ muahaha) Okay, that’s my only terrible ‘last-name’ pun for the day, I promise. This stuff is amazeee-ing. I’ve tried so many different liquid eyeliners, and this one gives me the perfect wing, every time.
Pro tip: Wipe the pen tip free of residue (with a paper towel) after use to prolong product life. Do not use makeup remover during this process; it will dry out the felt tip and trap product inside of the pen!
URBAN DECAY 24/7 LIP PENCILS
Shade(s): Ozone, Manic
This is for all the beauties whose lips are impervious to lip color. Short of Mac products, my lips refuse to hold any color, regardless of brand. Matte lipsticks, matte glosses, long-wear lip colors. Ha! Good. Joke. This is the only lip product that will stay on my face for more than an hour. I use urban decays 24/7 glide on lip pencil in ozone first, followed by manic. This combo creates an unrelenting staying power. The only time this has ever come off is with oily foods.
Now, you know what’s in my makeup bag. Please don’t rob me. Also, don’t forget to join me for my makeup-free initiative next week, #bareskinbeaut! I’ll be back for more updates on skincare, makeup tips + tricks and favorite products, soon!
Stay beautifully you, babes!